Health Information Management (HIM)

What does HIM stand for in healthcare?
In relation to the healthcare industry, HIM is an acronym that stands for Health Information Management. 

 

What is Health Information Management (HIM)?
Way back in 1928, the Association of Record Librarians of North America was founded by the American College for Surgeons for the purpose of creating better standards for maintaining clinical records in hospitals. The importance of patient health information had finally been formally acknowledged. After going through a few name changes over the decades, the organization came to be known as the American Health Information Management Association in 1991 as a result of the implementation of data and technology which changed healthcare practices and thus the maintenance of patient records. 

Health information management refers to the collection, evaluation, saving, and protection of patient health information, whether that information is maintained on an electronic health record or on paper. Health information management, commonly referred to as HIM, is crucial for healthcare providers – maintaining patient privacy and security is absolutely necessary to maintain compliance with laws and regulations such as those written in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act along with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. 

 

What does a Health Information Management (HIM) professional do?
In order to become a health information management professional, you must earn a health informatics or health information management bachelor’s or master’s degree, go through health information training for two years, and receive a certificate from an approved program. It is important to get a proper education before entering the health information management field. 

A HIM professional is responsible for a number of jobs such as implementing information systems, creating health policies, enforcing healthcare record keeping compliance, working closely with physicians and nurses to promote patient safety, ensuring that patient health information is accurate and secure, and overseeing all health information management procedures. In short, health information management professionals are responsible for protecting patient health information in some way or another depending on the category that the health information management professional falls into. Such categories can include:

  • Compliance
  • Data analysis
  • Documentation
  • HIM management
  • Medical coding
  • Privacy

Job opportunities for health information management professionals can include any of the following:

  • Chief privacy officer
  • Health data analyst
  • Director of quality management
  • Revenue cycle manager
  • Health systems manager
  • Electronic health record specialist
  • Compliance officer

Health information management professionals are often hired by hospitals, government agencies, health information exchanges, insurance companies, behavioral health facilities, consulting firms, healthcare software companies, physicians offices, and more. 

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